Coping with Body Shaming – A Guide for Parents
No matter how much you strive to teach your child that bodies come in all shapes and sizes—it’s likely they will be body shamed at some point. How do you help your child deal with this form of bullying?
Having a good body image helps kids feel confident. Children with a poor body image don’t feel good about their body or looks. A poor body image can lower self-esteem.
As your child reaches school age, they may compare themselves with others. They want to feel good about how they look. When they feel good about their body image, they have more confidence.
Help your child promote a positive body image by:
- Teaching them about their body
- Helping them take care of their body
- Saying nice things about they look
- Encouraging healthy eating and being active everyday
As your child grows and enters puberty, they are bound to become insecure. Remember, not every child goes through puberty at the same time. Some kids are ahead of the curve while others are late bloomers. Preteen and teenagers can be too self-critical which can hurt their body image.
To help teens have a healthy body image, parents can:
- Compliment how they look, avoid criticizing your child’s looks
- Allow them to try new looks and styles
- Encourage a healthy lifestyle
Body shaming is even more prevalent with the use of social media. This behavior can harm their body image and their self-esteem.
If your child is being body shamed, you can help them by:
- Take steps to stop the teasing or bullying
- Help their child repair the hurt feelings and shame
The best way to promote a healthy body image is to be a good body image role model. Be active every day. Eat a healthy diet. Talk about your own body in positive ways.
Also, remember to talk and listen to your child. If you feel you and your child need more help with this issue, get help from a licensed child counselor or therapist. A child’s body image can change for the better, even if it’s been hurt.
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